How Religion Affects Culture | 10 Positive and Negative Impacts
Religion is one of the effective tools used by people to dominate society. Further, religions can be used to dominate countries. This sounds rubbish, but if you go into details of most religions, they have been misused in the past and are being even now. But we will see those details in the article problems with religion. Here we will see how religion affects culture in positive and negative ways.
1. Change in food habits
2. Alter the dressing trends
3. Affects the thinking process.
4. Interferes in politics
5. Destruction of native culture.
6. Negligence of the arts.
1. People live responsibly
2. Minimizes violence and malpractices
3. Promotes family and human growth and development
4. Gives a structure to life style
5. Helps person think beyond worldly existence.
Negative effects of religion on society
Change in food habits
People have different food preferences based on the region, climate and also culture. For examples, people in India have food preferences mostly like rice in south India and wheat in northern India. This is because wheat provides more heat than rice and hence preferred in hot regions like the south. While people of north prefer wheat as they experience more cold temperatures. But based on their Hindu culture, they are vegetarians. But with the invasions by British and Mughals who brought with them Christianity and Islam, changed the food habits. Since these two religions come from foreign lands, they have brought with them foreign food habits. The food habits are linked directly to festivals celebrations too. Hence, in none of the Hindu, Buddhist cultural festivals, you will find a nonveg diet. But, in others, you will discover non-vegetarian food as a compulsion.
It is not a problem in general sense. But, these societies have a massive population, and vegetative food is less harsh on the environment. On the other hand, if such an enormous population opt for non-vegetarian diet, it can have deleterious effect on the environment.
Dressing trends change with development and also due to migrations and travel. But most of the dress habits are based on the climate in the region. Warm climates require light cotton clothing while cold regions require warm dressings. But, religions bring in dress changes like wearing a fully covered dress for women or sari for Hindu women. Both seem to cover the women and avoid unwanted attention. But when people convert to other religions, they tend to change.
These dress change over will affect social compatibility and lead to conflicts. If someone opts for a job or sports, they find difficulties with the dress code.
Affects the thinking process
So based on the above two points by now you can assume there will also be issues on how people see others. People born and brought up at the same place tend to have conflicts. People of one religion would not be able to socialize well with other religions. They may even see them with suspicion.
They may even want to bring their religion into education, workplace, etc.
Besides, some cultures have a thought process of money is not everything. They even teach people to mend their will and mind for the benefit of society.
Now you can notice that except in some Buddhist and Hindu cultures, most of them believe in the idea that “Money is everything in life.”
Interferes in politics
Religion interferes in politics. Politicians try to use the religious card for political gains. Since their politicians cannot live without power, they try to all sort of damage using the religion to get votes.
Politicians even go to the extent of granting asylum in their countries for votes. Since these migrants are from certain religion, they tend to target them for votes.
Destruction of native culture
This is the end goal of most religious conversions. Some religions have conversion missionaries to convert people of other religions to theirs. They do it with money and other means to attract people. Doing so would destroy the native culture of that country or state when the whole population of the native religion disappears.
Negligence of arts.
Few cultures have some arts as a part of their lifestyle. For example, in Hinduism, astrology plays a significant role in life. People ask for an astrological suggestion for the birth name, education, marriage and other aspects. This astrology is an interesting art, and to some extent you will feel it has scientific basis. But when other religions come in they tend to discard this belief in astrology.
Besides them, arts like yoga, meditation are not acceptable to some religions. While, the same are part of Hindu culture.
Positive effects of religion on society
People live responsibly
Religion is one which imparts culture to most of the societies. This helps them live within a set of rules unlike the animals. People tend to follow rules for marriage, work, business, death and other aspects of life. This leads to a systematic behavior by all the people in the society. They follow the same culture and pass it on to their children who carry those values and practices forward.
Since, most religions impart positive cultural habits, people live with a great responsibility even without the stringent application of the laws of the land.
Minimizes violence and malpractices
Most religions impart the teaching of peace and harmony. So people of following religion and culture will adopt it in their social life which minimizes the chances of violence.
Promotes family and human growth and development
Most religions mention the rules and values of family, marriage. Since, the marriages are conducted by religious proceedings, there is a sense of responsibility towards marriage among the couple. So, in times of problems they tend to take help of god and overcome them.This even minimizes the chances of divorce.
Gives a structure to life style
Culture is one where people certain customs and traditions. And most of them a prescribed by religions. As per them one has to bath daily, complete his chores, go to place of worship etc. This regular habits bring a structure to lifestyle and keep people active and motivated.
Helps person think beyond worldly existence
Unlike animals, humans have the ability to think. And many believe that there is some power which runs the world. Presence of religion will help them think of god and put efforts for eternal salvation.